The Sun has frequently held an honored place in the mythologies of people. Apollo, the ancient Roman god of the Sun, rode his blazing chariot through the sky every day.
In Hopi legend, the Sun made his journey across the sky beginning and ending in the kivas, or underground ceremonial rooms, of two sister goddesses, each named Huruing Wuhti. (Huruing Wuhti means “hard-beings woman,” goddess of rock, clay, minerals, and precious stones.)
In the eastern kiva, he donned a gray fox coat, which stood for the dawn. In the sky, he changed to a yellow fur, for the midday. As he entered the kiva in the west, he shook a turtle shell rattle, signaling the end of the day. He then swam underwater back to the eastern kiva to begin his trek through the sky again.
The Sun was all-important to Amenhotep IV, the Egyptian pharaoh who came to power in 1379 B.C. Amenhotep established an innovative religion that worshiped only one god, instead of the usual pantheon of immortals. The one, all-powerful god was Aton, the Sun.
Most religions today do not worship the Sun, but it is an enduring symbol of power and life in religion, poetry, and literature.